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Study: Diabetes drug also may reduce heart disease risk

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Diabetics often need to test their blood glucose levels. A study found patients who take liraglutide to control their sugar levels might also see their risk for heart disease go down. Photo by Tesa Photography/Pixabay

By Allen Cone, UPI

Diabetes patients who take liraglutide to treat their sugar levels might also reduce risk for heart disease, according to a study.

The drug, which is sold under the brands Victoza and Saxenda, improves heart health regardless of cholesterol levels and statin therapy, researchers report in results from the LEADER trial, which were presented Sunday at the European Society of Cardiology Annual Congress in Munich, Germany, and published in the journal Circulation.

Liraglutide, an injectable non-insulin that helps reduce blood sugar, lowered risk of death from heart attack, nonfatal heart attack and nonfatal stroke in the study. Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical company that developed liraglutide, funded the heart study.

"One of the many ways in which we reduce heart disease is by treating people with statins to lower their cholesterol," Dr. Subodh Verma, a cardiac surgeon-scientist and director of the CardioLink platform at St. Michael's Hospital in Canada, said in a press release. "This work brings us closer to understanding whether there is further benefit of newer agents that treat diabetes and whether those benefits persist in people who are taking statins."

Increased risks of cardiovascular disease are associated with higher levels of LDL-C.

For the trial, more than 9,300 patients with type 2 diabetes were evaluated on the effects of liraglutide on heart disease at more than 400 sites around the world. The results, Verma said, offer doctors more options for patients with the condition.

"This analysis suggests that we have another tool in our armamentarium to further reduce risk for people who have Type 2 diabetes," he said.

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Health - U.S. Daily News: Study: Diabetes drug also may reduce heart disease risk
Study: Diabetes drug also may reduce heart disease risk
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